“I honestly don’t feel like I’m volunteering when I’m with Syd.”
By: Lynn Podber & Sydonia Green
Over a year ago I decided to volunteer with One Good Deed, a program of Jewish Family & Career Services, as a friendly visitor to an older adult. The program prides itself on great match-making, and wow, did I hit the jackpot when I was paired with 90-year-old Syd Green. I expected someone emotionally needy and somewhat frail. Instead, I got a firecracker who continually amazes me! Syd lives at the Jewish Tower and can no longer drive due to macular degeneration. Now I’ve become part of her support system. We visit the library, go out to eat, grocery shop, or run any necessary errands — whatever she needs. We also enjoy spending time at my home, where she has met my daughters and friends. Our relationship is truly unique; it has become a real friendship. I honestly don’t feel like I’m volunteering when I’m with Syd!
Lynn recently took me to Temple Sinai for a 92nd Street Y simulcast on longevity. The focus was on exercise and healthy eating. As a “super senior,” I had some comments and I spoke up. I told the moderator that what seniors need most are socialization opportunities and transportation to get us back into community life. It made me feel so alive to express my point of view. When you’ve lost a spouse and so many of your friends have passed away, it’s lonely and debilitating. Being at Temple Sinai that evening was enriching, and I wouldn’t have experienced it without Lynn and One Good Deed.
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